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Author Topic: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?  (Read 1910 times)

RSL

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #40 on: June 19, 2018, 06:26:24 PM »

No reason to be sorry, Alan. I agree with you that communication comes on different levels. There's explication and there's a kind of transfer that passes beyond explication and touches the soul. I think real art always communicates in that way.

RSL

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #41 on: June 20, 2018, 09:37:04 AM »

Alan, I ran back through my essays on photography and found THIS ONE. I think it deals with stuff closer to what you're after than the one on the seer, which I'll confess is pretty far out for LuLa.

Alan Klein

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #42 on: June 20, 2018, 10:21:32 AM »

Thanks for the essay Russ.  Very informative.  The way I try to get "better" shots is to also trust my feelings. If I'm driving along for instance, and I see a shot and say "wow" to myself, then that view is communicating to me.  Hopefully I catch it so it communicates with others.  That's the hard part.

It may be awe due to the terrific light, https://flic.kr/p/92Jk9E

or something funny or unusual - a juxtaposition, https://flic.kr/p/jA6NH7

a feeling between people.  https://flic.kr/p/hoce5R


Getting back to the original OP question, Moonrise over Hernandez had a lot of darkroom manipulation to get the final results.  Check this for the original and after prints.
https://www.google.com/search?q=moonrise+over+hernandez&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=bMyXE3_RaFrtVM%253A%252C4nxsNcORHStR8M%252C_&usg=__n6BUjRF6dt75pVuLsawZY2v_Qds%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwikhNGatuLbAhVF9YMKHT9pC1IQ_h0I1wEwFg#imgrc=bMyXE3_RaFrtVM:

KenTanaka

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #43 on: June 20, 2018, 10:25:24 AM »

I'm just trying to get your definition of communications.  How would you describe it generally?  Do people interacting have to be in it?  Or can a landscape that provides the power of awe be considered as communicating as well?  Maybe communications is just in the eye of the beholder, like when people try to define the word "art"?  These things seem so personal.

You pose keen questions, Alan, which have been at the very fulcrum of the art world since its birth.  We could organize a 3-day symposium (at some idyllic scenic spot, of course) around these general questions and return home a bit fatter in the belly but no fatter in the head.

So to concisely offer my thoughts while staying on-topic let me hold a mirror up to you.  What messages or impressions did the original set of referenced images impart on you?  To me some seemed to bear implicit messages or metaphors but most seemed to be purely exercises in visual puns.  And that’s really mostly what Surrealism has ever been across media.  Look at the works of Magritte, Tanguy, and Ernst, for good examples.

But now to your question regarding how works can communicate with their viewers I, again, turn the light toward you.  This time with an excercise.  Make a photograph that conveys a message.  It doesn’t have to be a heavy message.  But your image should attempt to convey some message/impression more specific than, “Ain’t this pretty?”.  And most importantly you must start with the message you want to express, not retrofit an existing image into the message.   Show the image to friends and family and ask what what message they see.  At the end of this exercise I’m confident that you’ll have answered most of the questions you posed above much better than anyone else could.
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RSL

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #44 on: June 20, 2018, 10:54:22 AM »

. . .Moonrise over Hernandez had a lot of darkroom manipulation to get the final results.

Absolutely. In the original the moon barely was there, and the sky was much brighter. But there's Ansel's famous proclamation: "The negative is the score. The print is the performance." I agree with him, but only up to a point.

Alan Klein

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #45 on: June 20, 2018, 10:57:51 AM »

Ken, Coincidentally, I think I already responded with samples to your exercise in my last post.  It seems we're on the same wavelength.  The only caveat is that street shots can happen so quickly.  You often don't have much time to think about the aftereffects beforehand in "planning" the shot.

Alan Klein

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #46 on: June 20, 2018, 10:58:37 AM »

Absolutely. In the original the moon barely was there, and the sky was much brighter. But there's Ansel's famous proclamation: "The negative is the score. The print is the performance." I agree with him, but only up to a point.
When do you reach that "point"?

Alan Klein

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #47 on: June 20, 2018, 11:06:11 AM »

Ken, Coincidentally, I think I already responded with samples to your exercise in my last post.  It seems we're on the same wavelength.  The only caveat is that street shots can happen so quickly.  You often don't have much time to think about the aftereffects beforehand in "planning" the shot.

Here's an example.  Shot while driving, the picture jumped out as something really unusual.  Wearing all that religious garb yet checking the oil on his bus.  That said something to me, hopefully to others.    But the guy on the sidewalk wasn't in the picture at first.  He walked into it while I was shooting (with my cellphone through a dirty windshield.)  So not everything can be planned.  Sometimes luck enters the situation.  Of course, you have to be ready to shoot. So there's that.
  https://flic.kr/p/CCo3p9

RSL

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #48 on: June 20, 2018, 11:09:56 AM »

When do you reach that "point"?

That's a fair question, Alan, and all I can say is that it depends on the picture. I'd certainly carry out the darkroom conversion Ansel did on Moonrise, because I think that's the way he saw the final result when he tripped the shutter. Where I'd stop is the point at which post-processing changes the message I was getting from the subject when I tripped the shutter.

Jim Kasson

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #49 on: June 20, 2018, 01:08:59 PM »

That's a fair question, Alan, and all I can say is that it depends on the picture. I'd certainly carry out the darkroom conversion Ansel did on Moonrise, because I think that's the way he saw the final result when he tripped the shutter. Where I'd stop is the point at which post-processing changes the message I was getting from the subject when I tripped the shutter.

The way that AA printed Moonrise changed quite a bit over the years. The early prints were not so dramatic. And then there was that intensifier intervention...


Jim

Alan Klein

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #50 on: June 20, 2018, 02:56:59 PM »

That's a fair question, Alan, and all I can say is that it depends on the picture. I'd certainly carry out the darkroom conversion Ansel did on Moonrise, because I think that's the way he saw the final result when he tripped the shutter. Where I'd stop is the point at which post-processing changes the message I was getting from the subject when I tripped the shutter.

Some of my takes evolved.  I've tried different things afterwards in post processing and often like the new results.  I don't think it's necessary to only provide what you intended at the time you snapped the shot even assuming you knew at the time.  In  any case, the viewer doesn't know what's in the photographer's mind.  He can only look at the end result and if it works for him, that's great.   Just like I may interpret your essay one way, and another person interprets in a different way, it could be that neither of us interpret it exactly as you intended it.   When you read so called experts reviews of photos, when they try to get into the photographer's mind as to what he intended, it's all hokum.  It may be a fun exercise in a college class.  But most people give about three seconds to the view and move on.

RSL

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #51 on: June 20, 2018, 03:01:45 PM »

I couldn't agree more. Sometimes even three seconds seems too long.

cgarnerhome

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #52 on: June 20, 2018, 03:14:10 PM »

Ansel had no problem altering the negative as well - see quote below.  I make images that speak to me to visually but also resonate for me at a deeper level. Hopefully, they speak to others as well but that's never my goal.  I have little concern if my images are manipulated as long as they reflect my vision.  I realize that we likely have different views on this but that's what makes art so intellectually interesting for me.

The enterprising youth of the Lone Pine High School had climbed the rocky slopes of the Alabama Hills and whitewashed a huge white L P [the letters “L” and P”] for the world to see. It is a hideous and insulting scar on one of the great vistas of our land, and shows in every photograph made of the area. I ruthlessly removed what I could of the L P from the negative (in the left-hand hill), and have always spotted out any remaining trace in the print. I have been criticized by some for doing this, but I am not enough of a purist to perpetuate the scar and thereby destroy — for me, at least — the extraordinary beauty and perfection of the scene.

Alan Klein

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #53 on: June 20, 2018, 03:15:49 PM »

I couldn't agree more. Sometimes even three seconds seems too long.
Speaking of three seconds, I use to set the time length for my digital slide show on the HDTV of vacation pictures to 5 seconds for each "slide".  I used 1 second cross dissolves but that's included in the five seconds.  Two vacation ago, I changed the length to 4 seconds with the same one second cross dissolve.  For my last trip to the southwest national parks, I set it at three seconds.  I find 3 seconds moves the show and people don't get bored (at least I hope so. ). 4 and 5 seconds per shot is too long.   For a few special pictures, I'll set the time to 4 or 5 seconds because they're particularly nice. But otherwise, each of the slides are set for three seconds including the one second cross dissolve. Most photographers, myself included, think too highly of their work.  :)

Alan Klein

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #54 on: June 20, 2018, 03:27:04 PM »

Ansel had no problem altering the negative as well - see quote below.  I make images that speak to me to visually but also resonate for me at a deeper level. Hopefully, they speak to others as well but that's never my goal.  I have little concern if my images are manipulated as long as they reflect my vision.  I realize that we likely have different views on this but that's what makes art so intellectually interesting for me.

The enterprising youth of the Lone Pine High School had climbed the rocky slopes of the Alabama Hills and whitewashed a huge white L P [the letters “L” and P”] for the world to see. It is a hideous and insulting scar on one of the great vistas of our land, and shows in every photograph made of the area. I ruthlessly removed what I could of the L P from the negative (in the left-hand hill), and have always spotted out any remaining trace in the print. I have been criticized by some for doing this, but I am not enough of a purist to perpetuate the scar and thereby destroy — for me, at least — the extraordinary beauty and perfection of the scene.
Cam, I wanted to see your pictures.  I tried the link next to your avatar.  When I clicked on Portfolio, nothing happened.  Not sure the other links there are working right either.

Regarding your comment, I flip between purist and well, it's OK to really edit a lot.  Removing an ugly sign is OK.  However, when the final image becomes just the results of digital manipulation in a computer, it's no longer a photograph and we shouldn't call it a photo.  Maybe digital art is the right term.  Exactly what point that happens is always a huge, unwinnable debate. 

Jim Kasson

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2018, 05:00:43 PM »

Cam, I wanted to see your pictures.  I tried the link next to your avatar.  When I clicked on Portfolio, nothing happened.  Not sure the other links there are working right either.

Regarding your comment, I flip between purist and well, it's OK to really edit a lot.  Removing an ugly sign is OK.  However, when the final image becomes just the results of digital manipulation in a computer, it's no longer a photograph and we shouldn't call it a photo.  Maybe digital art is the right term.  Exactly what point that happens is always a huge, unwinnable debate.

With your definition, is the thumbless version of Lange's Migrant Mother a photo? Would it have been a photo if the thumb had been removed digitally?

Jim

Alan Klein

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2018, 05:10:18 PM »

With your definition, is the thumbless version of Lange's Migrant Mother a photo? Would it have been a photo if the thumb had been removed digitally?

Jim
I didn't give a definition.  I said, " Exactly what point that happens is always a huge, unwinnable debate."  Obviously, if the whole photo was created in a computer, than the\at would surely be digital art.  But at what point it would lose its description as a photo if less was created or modified in a computer and the balance from image created through a camera is up to debate. Me?  I keep flip flopping on the issue.  I can't make up my mind. 

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #57 on: June 20, 2018, 05:12:20 PM »

With your definition, is the thumbless version of Lange's Migrant Mother a photo? Would it have been a photo if the thumb had been removed digitally?

What is the thumb or thumbless version of the photo?

cgarnerhome

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Re: Can photo manipulation be considered as art ?
« Reply #59 on: June 20, 2018, 05:56:24 PM »

Cam, I wanted to see your pictures.  I tried the link next to your avatar.  When I clicked on Portfolio, nothing happened.  Not sure the other links there are working right either.

Scroll down and then you will see the portfolios.  Not the best website!  My goal is to redo it when I can get around to it.
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